Tuesday 19 November 2019

Questioning Myself Through Run Streaking

As I start to write up this blog, I've hit the 6 month mark (183 days) in the Run Streak that I'm currently embarked on. I thought it would be good to talk about what I think about it at this current point in time. The answers I've gained from questioning my body through running every day. 

Even when away in Bulgaria at a wedding I ran
What is a Run Streak?

A run streak if you didn't know is where you run everyday at least a mile. It's not run a day, then next do a work out the following day or a swim and claim "Well I did something". Running Every Day (RED) is just that, running every day. Dr Ron Hill ran every day for over 53 years, even when he injured in an accident. 

So why did I start my run streak?
The day it started Plymouth Half Marathon with my mate Luke 
Well I ran the Plymouth Half Marathon with a good friend called Luke on the 19th May, keeping him company. Like always the day after I always go for some form of recovery run. For me, it's always worked to flush out any lactic acid build up, and it's always prevents DOMS from kicking my arse. 

So I thought to myself, let's see how long I could keep a streak going? I've previously in a past run every day of a 5 month deployment, so I know I could do it for a short period at least. 

Thing's I had to consider is:

1. Work - I travel a lot in my current role, so I would have to fit runs in and around travelling
2. Social - I have a little social life, so I'd have to fit it around friend's. I missed out a lot last year being away for the majority of it. 
3. Family - The most important one of all, I said when I got back from deployment last year, running will always be around family not the other way round. 

I spoke to my wife about it and she was happy or maybe just content ( I will go with happy LOL) for me to give it a go.

Thus the run streak had started. 
Hope24 a 24 hour even in June
How did I find the first couple of weeks? 

I was pretty motivated and things were going well, I wanted to make sure I wasn't just going for a run for the sake of it, and that I ran quality miles. I found the first few weeks pretty easy to maintain the motivational level, I was feeling pretty good, I was getting runs in during works time which helped a lot. Therefore not having any major impact on family time either. I was also lucky to get some double runs in as I'd join my local club for some club runs be it off road or on road. 

Did I find any parts hard?

Yes there were times when I couldn't be arsed to drag myself out for a run, if I was lucky I'd have some company to run with which helped with the motivation. If I was by myself then the hardest part was getting out, once I was out I ticked off those miles. Some days I had some tough runs, more mentally than physically, but getting out did me a world of good. Some times my legs took a while to wake up usually the first mile into a run but once they realised what was happening, they soon perked up.

As I said, the just getting the motivation to go out occasionally was the hardest parts. 

Madness of King George 36 hour non stop race I finished it with these to top blokes
What have I learnt?

Well I already knew the human body was capable of many things, some times we need to try thing's we can't do to find our limits. I have learnt despite getting older, I am still capable of putting in performances close to what I have done in the past and some of that has been down to this streak. I reckon if I continue to work hard, and train smart I may even beat some lifetime PBs. I learnt, that there really is no excuse for finding time to do something. We have 24 hours in a day, and even if I didn't run during works time, I still have time to work, eat, spend time with family and get a run in. I have had to get up really early some days because of travelling for work to get a run in but it was doable. I have learnt how well my body now recovers compared to how it use to. Stairs no longer provide an issue after a long race. I also learnt to have more faith in my abilities and it gave me back a lot of confidence in my running.

Can anyone do it?

Of course any one can, but like anything it's more a case of wanting to do it. It's not for everyone, but I've friend's who do it, and we're all individuals with different lives to lead but we all manage it. One friend of mine is currently into her 3rd year of running everyday. You just have to listen to your body, be sensible and most of all enjoy it. 

Whilst travelling to and from Jacksonville, USA I still found time to run
Is it bad for me? 

Well Dr Ron Hill managed it for over 53 years, it improved his performances including winning Boston Marathon. He even ran after an accident which lead him to be in a cast. Like anything, it's all about listening to your body, so much of it is about recovery, you don't have to do nothing, you can do active recovery. So going out for a mile or two at a comfortable pace, depending on what your recovering from. So after my 36 hour race, I took a week for recovery, easy runs over the week, even when I felt already recovered I still continued to keep it easy. When I had niggles, I eased down on mileage and pace. It worked for me, doesn't mean it will work for everyone but when a non runner boss of mine turns round and says "It's bad for you" I was hoping Karl Pilkington's Bullshit Man would come along and point at him and say "Bullshit"

But aren't I supposed to have rest days? Like I said above I do but it's just lower mileage and easier pace. My body still recovers well and for me it's better than sitting on a couch resting. 

My last big race of the year the Cornish Marathon
And finally where do I go from here?

Well I've got goals I would like to hit by the end of 2020, I've already ticked off some which I believe the run streak has helped me to hit early. I will continue to run every day until I decide enough is enough. I've no end goal for running every day, at the moment I am still enjoying it and still reaping the benefits. 

Some stats from the last 6 months:

Miles Ran: 1078.54 
Races run: Plymouth Half, Hope24, MoK36, Saint's Way Challenge, Cornish Marathon (plus local 10Ks and 5Ks in between)
Countries run in: UK, Malta, Bulgaria, USA
Podium Places: 2nd place at MoK36 

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions drop us a line. If you're bored you can watch my latest film on the recent Cornish Marathon race here (click link)

My 6 Month Run Streak run Day 183


#GoTailwind #UglowSports #BeyondComfort 

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